1. 6. Grayburn 7.


ELLE Style Awards 2010 Backstage

It was a fantastic day amongst a room full of some of the best Make up Artists backstage at the ELLE Style Awards 2010. The team was led by Dirk Jensma and included Chiao-Li Hsu, Katerina Brans, Mascha Meyer, and Severine van Donkelaar.

I'm in the video too!

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)


AIFW Is Coming!

The Amsterdam International Fashion Week is coming!  As usual, I will be sharing what I see with you but what's different this time is that I will be participating in mobile blogging as well.  Wish me luck!

For now, get yourself ready and head over to the official schedule page for more on who will be showing what where. 

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)



Wants a leather gilet and this one fits the bill.  Just look at the geometric detailing!  Gots to have this!
TOPSHOP Spring 2010

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)


Personal Favorites of 2009 Part II: Gives Good Hair

In this second edition of my Personal Favorites of 2009, we will be having a look at some new product discoveries in the Gives Good Hair category.  Meaning new products (to me) from 2009 that have significantly helped in improving the look of my hair.

Test case(me):  long, straight hair on the dry side

Kevin Murphy's ANTI.GRAVITY. Oil Free Volumiser

Upon first look, you might notice how different the packaging is from this line of hair care products.  The products were reated by the Australian hair master himself.  These rectangular bottles have a matt finish and are engraved with a "k".  Why that matters is that the way it is packaged enables easy storage and handling (stacks easily and neatly, plus easy for slippery hands to grab onto).  And in a sea of overly exaggerated and more commonly round, big and tall packaging from today's major brands, Murphy's design is certainly a plus.  This in itself is consistent with Murphy's philosphy in that his products were designed to not over stress (keeping things simple) hair as he found out that while styling hair during fashion shows that "as a day progressed, the models' hair became heavy, dull and lifeless".

Upon first whiff of the product you might as I did and still do every time, appreciate the aromatherapy you are also getting from using this product.  Two birds with one stone as they say.  Top note lavender, followed by tangy citrus which is then rounded off by sweet luscious honey.  The oil-free volumnizing milk feels nourishing as it easily spreads through every strand of your hair.  When hot air blasts its way through your hair (and while you are using your round blow-drying brush), the air in the room surrounding fills up with the most relaxing yet uplifting scent.  To top that off, the product is the only one that I've found to provide natural looking full hair without the usual tackiness or crispiness.  Hair keeps its bouncy fuller shape for the whole day without a fail. 

How I use it:  distributed through wet hair and follow with regular blow drying.  Use on dry hair if some separation is desired.

Wen by Chaz Dean's Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner

Now this is an interesting one.  While I never believe in any infomercial hypes nor did I jump on the "washing hair daily with conditioner" trend that many on blogsphere braved last year, I have to admit that I was quite drawn in by those images of glossy, bouncy hair I saw on tv everyday while I was on vacation in North America last year.  

 So it goes without saying that I am indeed quite surprised when this product is now on my list of cool finds in 2009.  I mean please...instructions say to use 16-24 pumps of the product and even more for longer hair (me!).  How was a measly 350mL bottle suppose to last me for 30 days as their website suggests?  And without the usual -cones, sulfates or other harsh detergents that my hair has gotten so used to my whole life?  My skepticism continued.

But it is only hair that we're talking about here and it does eventually grow back.  So I pressed on as I was determined to get to the bottom of this.   

The cleansing conditioner works like this.  Without lather, it cleanses the scalp and the hair with several nourishing ingredients such as chamomile, wild cherry and rosemary.  I moistened my hair with a little bit of water then took about 12 pumps of the product to lightly cover the entire scalp and hair.  And with circular motions, I massaged this minty yet sweet concoction (I suspect that the sweetness comes from the 'fragrance' listed at the end of the ingredients).  Did I ever tell you how much I love an invigorating minty rub on my scalp?  It is one of the most satisfying things to happen in a shower.  After a good rub and just letting the product marinade in my hair for the duration of my shower (followed with no conditioner), the routine was complete.  

The milky substance produces no drying lather indeed and while it took some getting used to, it feels comforting to know that I'm not using any sulfates in my hair.  But that aside, does this product deliver for me?  Yes.  I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that my locks were shiny, soft and had a certain salon bounce to it.  And after having had my hair destroyed in some unfortunate events of late, this was certainly a welcomed sight to see. 

Websites:  http://www.kevinmurphy.com.au, http://www.wenhaircare.com/
Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)
Disclaimer: I purchased the Anti.Gravity myself and the Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner was given to me as a press sample.


Personal Favorites of 2009 - Part I: Seasonal Delights

One of those things that I love about the cold cold months is the opportunity to use products with soul-warming scents and sensuous textures.  Everything gets suited with an extra oomph that they might have otherwise not gotten if it wasn't for our need for richer and stronger products during this time of the year.

Two of the products that I fell in love with at the end of 2009 (and they are both on my Personal Favorites of 2009 list) are from The Body Shop's Nutmeg and Vanilla line.  (Yes, I do hope to complete this list soon and am crossing my fingers to release this list throughout the month!).  These two products are:  The Nutmeg and Vanilla Lip Balm and the Nutmeg and Vanilla Bath and Shower Gel.  And just so you know, the Nutmeg and Vanilla line is one of three of their festive lines and limited edition for 2009. 

Although both products come from the same scent family, the two of them do not have identical smells (thanks goodness!).  The lip balm has a very spicy and sweet cake scent in that -just stepped into a

bakery which also sells spices kind of way.  Whereas the scent of the bath & shower gel takes on a completely different note.  It has spices and it has sweet (and less vanilla) but it has the added oomph of a kick of candied fruit.  And when added to a tub of hot steamy bath water, it does not smell sweetly sickening like most spicy vanilla concoction usually smell like, this smells divinely sensuous thanks to the added touch of sandalwood.  I mean this is this is the stuff that will spice up your bath and your evening.

Onto the packaging.  I know that most of us are not fans of open lid containers and prefer squeeze tubes for lip balms.  I do have to say that it feels great getting some balm out of a round tin because it makes me feel as if I'm getting a cookie treat out of a cookie jar.  And the bronzy color on the inside of the lid just makes it ever more special.  As to what you do with the leftover balm on your fingers after you've applied balm on your lips; give your cuticles a little treat as well!  The bath & shower gel's packaging is really nothing intriguing until you dial down the lights and light a few candles.  The transparent and amber-tinted bottle looks sumptuously warming and glowy in the candlelight and in the steam of my mostly white bathroom.  Quite a treat for the eyes I must say!

The texture of the lip balm.  This is a rich balm indeed with all of its most conditioning ingredients topping the ingredients list.  Like most of The Body Shop's old school lip balms, this one is also extremely emolient, transparent and have a high sheen finish.  I personally prefer this type of balm (I really loved the older version of TBS' balms) as they simply are longer lasting on the lips and are especially good for wearing to bed.  And you know why this one is especially good for wearing to bed?  It is because the balm has these subtle fine gold shimmers that just makes the lips look so pretty. The added bonus is that the balm has a slight tint that warms up our pouts in a natural kind of way. 

These and other TBS seasonal delights are currently only available in very limited quanitities at their stores in Amsterdam and some of them are on sale at 50% off.  Check them out and leave your thoughts and comments!

Website:  thebodyshop.com
Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)
Disclaimer:  Things I had purchased myself.


Thoughts On The New Year

Quickly jotting down something more than just as a reminder for the year to come....

What have we got to lose right?  The only thing left to do is to take more risks in our lives.

In the spirit of that, a look at 15 years of Hussein Chalayan in fashion. 

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)

A Taste of the Holiday Season

I know this is not a food blog but I just had to post this picture.  And since it is the Holiday Season and we are all most probably stuffing our bellies at some point during this period, I thought it might be appropriate just this one time.

I recently acquired some marzipan from the beautiful city of Toledo (Spain) while I was on vacation there and they are just so irresistible!  I mean I couldn't even wait until after taking the picture to eat them with BFOG!  Just look at them;  all the little bundles all handmade and brimming with joy.  The 3 varieties here come either coated with pinenuts, crystal sugar, or with yolk filling (yema as they call it there).  And these are from one of the most prominent and local favorited shops in town; Santo Tome (since 1856).  Biting into one of these not only make you realize how beautiful something so simple yet so well-crafted can taste; but one also feels like they're biting into a piece of history.  The history books in Toledo tells us a story of local nuns helping to stave off famine during King Alfonso's VIII's battle against the Moors in 1212 with the help of these little 'almond bread'.  Because the nuns had a good supply of almonds (but not much else) in their reserves, they pounded the almonds with sugar and created 'bread' to provide food to the public. 

These are not your everyday variety of marzipan that are usually funnily colored and shaped into a leg of ham or a carrot.  These ones have a PGI status which according to BBC Foods, has "the origin and quality of products that carry this hard-won stamp of authenticity". 

So which foods are you especially enjoying with your loved ones this holiday period? 

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/food_matters/britishpdos.shtml

Small Update

Hi everyone!

Really sorry for the lack of posts lately.  I do wish to post more often as I have tonnes of products and news laying around waiting to be reviewed and shared.  But not having sufficient time these days and my insufficient knowledge of mobile blogging or mobile internet as a matter of fact has made it rather challenging.

But there are definite things I need to share with you and though I cannot promise when, they are coming!  I recently watched this video of Shakira and felt so taken aback and simply marveled at the way she moves.  Isn't the fight/longing dance between her and the shirtless partner amazing?

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), youtube.com


He Never Loses The Darkness In His Soul

"He never loses the darkness in his soul"  Tim Blanks on Ricardo Tisci for Givenchy during the label's Spring 2010 show. 

The pieces had a sort of mesmerizing power that drew everyone watching into the center of them.  A complex exterior wanting to be unraveled perhaps.  Somewhat of a romantic notion.

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), style.com